The Meeting Craze

multi-directionsThere is a meeting craze. 

Every day, people meet and meet and meet.  There seems to be a confusion between work and meeting.  Meetings are not work.

Did you ever wonder how effective meetings can  really be when all people do is meet?  When is the work actually done?  

Most people who have meetings think that all their meetings are effective otherwise why would they have them.  Yet, in actual fact, if outside observers sat in most meetings, they would find that the majority of meetings are anything but effective.  Most meetings are a waste of time.

Why?

That’s why . . . . no one ever asks “why should we have this meeting?”  You’d think they would.  After all, doesn’t everyone think their time is valuable and don’t they want to maximize their productivity at work? 

Meetings have become a status symbol – the more meetings you attend, the more important you are.  That’s the general consensus.  So everyone wants to look and feel important so they book themselves into a lot of meetings.  Is that effective?

Depends.  What is the work culture?  If meetings are a status symbol, then people show up at meetings whether they have anything to contribute or not.  And everyone invites everyone else to their meetings because reciprocity assures status for all concerned.  Some people get very upset if a meeting is called to which they are not invited.  They couldn’t have said or done anything which would have moved the agenda forward but they don’t want to “miss out” on anything. 

I saw one manager once so upset at not being invited to a certain meeting that they literally had a melt down.  It was not pretty!

Who Can Change the Meeting Culture?

Anyone.  

It takes one person with the courage to ask questions and to create effective meetings themselves.   It takes someone to say no to meetings at which they have nothing to offer.  It takes someone brave enough to introduce new approaches to meetings. 

Meetings are very costly.  Next time you’re at a meeting, calculate how much in salary time was consumed at the meeting by all the people in attendance and what was generated.  Was it cost effective?  Likely not. 

It’s time people got back to real work and stop the “meetings craze”!

Lorraine Arams

Wize Time

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